On 1st December 2010, the National Ethics Advisory Committee (CCNE), delivered its opinion 112, called “An ethical reflection on the research human embryonic cells, and the research on in vitro human embryo”. For the first time, the CCNE gave recommendations in terms of prohibition or authorisation but wanted to deliver “elements for reflection“.
This opinion is published when the bill is examined by a special parliamentary commission which will deliver its report mid-January. The vote at the French National Assembly will take place early February.
Jean-Claude Ameisen, one of the rapporteurs of the opinion, explained that they estimated that the research on cells from destroyed embryos or for destruction purposes and the research on the living embryo were two different questions which require different treatments. Thus the opinion suggests introducing a distinction between two schemes regulating the research on the embryo: an authorisation scheme under condition for the works on supernumerary embryos without parental projects and a prohibition scheme with derogations for the works on the embryos created for improving MAP techniques.
11 of the CCNE members wanted to express reservations, showing their disagreement on the fact that the opinion does not reaffirm the prohibition of principle of the research on the embryo. Due to these reservations, the senator Marie-Thérèse Hermange refused to sign the opinion.
Proposing to sacrifice the embryo while looking for saving the looks of the ethics, this opinion can only be confused illustrating notably the famous ascertainment of Boileau: “what is well conceived is clearly expressed“.